Trevor Lawrence goes first overall in an eventful 2021 NFL Draft

Photo by Jonathan Moreau via Flickr

By Matteo Venieri
Boston University News Service

After months of film study and speculation, league commissioner Roger Goodell finally kicked off the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland on Thursday night. One position dominated the first round: quarterbacks. Three quarterbacks were selected with the first three picks for the first time since1999.

After the highly anticipated picks of Trevor Lawrence by the Jaguars and Zach Wilson by the Jets, the 49ers selected Trey Lance from North Dakota State in the first big surprise of the four-hour event.

Kyle Pitts was the first non-quarterback selected, landing in Atlanta at No. 4 and becoming the highest tight taken in the common draft era. With the unknown future of star wide receiver Julio Jones, the Falcons secured another great offensive weapon for Matt Ryan.

When at No. 9, the Broncos shocked many by picking the first defensive player of the night in Patrick Surtain II, QBs Justin Fields and Mac Jones inevitably fell out of the top 10. But not for long. The Bears seized the opportunity and traded up to No. 11 to select the former Ohio State standout. Four spots later, Jones fell to the Patriots.

Another consistent trend of the night was the reunion of many young quarterbacks with their former college teammates. It started at No. 5, where the Bengals reunited Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase, his favorite target at Louisiana State University (LSU).

The Dolphins and the Eagles paired two more offensive duos — both with Alabama roots. In Miami, Jaylen Waddle will catch passes from his former Crimson Tide teammate Tua Tagovailoa. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts celebrated DeVonta Smith’s arrival in Philadelphia on Twitter.

Lastly, at No. 25, Jacksonville reunited Lawrence and Clemson running back Travis Etienne, recreating a duo that took the Tigers to a national championship in 2019.

By the time Green Bay was on the clock at No. 29, another story from Wisconsin had already captured the attention of most NFL fans. In fact, the biggest news of the day was that Aaron Rodgers’ discontent with the team had reached its breaking point and he reportedly wanted out of Green Bay.

With two more days to go in the draft and team executives for the 32 teams all in town at the same time, many teams might decide to rethink their strategy and try to pry away the three-time MVP from the Packers.

Below is the complete list of the players selected in the first round.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence | QB | Clemson
  2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson | QB | BYU
  3. San Francisco 49ers (via HOU, MIA) – Trey Lance | QB | North Dakota State
  4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts | TE | Florida
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase | WR | LSU
  6. Miami Dolphins (via PHI) – Jaylen Waddle | WR | Alabama
  7. Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell | OT | Oregon
  8. Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn | CB | South Carolina
  9. Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain II | CB | Alabama
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (via DAL) – DeVonta Smith | WR | Alabama
  11. Chicago Bears (via NYG) – Justin Fields | QB | Ohio State
  12. Dallas Cowboys (via PHI, SF, MIA) – Micah Parsons | LB | Penn State
  13. Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater | OT | Northwestern
  14. New York Jets (via MIN) – Alijah Vera-Tucker | OL | USC
  15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones | QB | Alabama
  16. Arizona Cardinals – Zaven Collins | LB | Tulsa
  17. Las Vegas Raiders – Alex Leatherwood | OT | Alabama
  18. Miami Dolphins – Jaelan Phillips | DE | Miami
  19. Washington Football Team – Jamin Davis | LB | Kentucky
  20. New York Giants (via CHI) – Kadarius Toney | WR | Florida
  21. Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye | DE | Michigan
  22. Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech
  23. Minnesota Vikings (via NYJ, SEA) – Christian Darrisaw | OT | Virginia Tech
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris | RB | Alabama
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) – Travis Etienne | RB | Clemson
  26. Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome II | CB | Northwestern
  27. Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman | WR | Minnesota
  28. New Orleans Saints – Payton Turner | DE | Houston
  29. Green Bay Packers – Eric Stokes | CB | Georgia
  30. Buffalo Bills – Gregory Rousseau | DE | Miami
  31. Baltimore Ravens (via KC) – Jayson Oweh | DE | Penn State
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joe Tryon | LB | Washington

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